Switzerland has been officially represented in Indonesia since 1952 and the two countries have maintained a broad range of bilateral relations since 1951. Indonesia is a priority country for SECO's economic cooperation. Today, Indonesia is the most important destination for Swiss direct investment in Asia after Japan, Singapore and China, and Switzerland is one of the largest European investors in Indonesia.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Indonesia
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland and Indonesia have maintained very good bilateral relations since 1951. In 2021, the two countries celebrated the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. Since 2011, the foreign ministries of both countries have conducted regular political consultations on policy, trade and human rights.
Since 2008, Indonesia has been one of the eight priority countries for economic development cooperation of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
The two countries also cooperate within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in which Switzerland has had sectoral dialogue partner status since July 2016. Indonesia was one of the five founding states of ASEAN (1967), and the ASEAN secretariat (ASEC) is located in Jakarta.
The Swiss embassy in Jakarta also covers ASEAN-related affairs and Timor-Leste.
The Indonesian embassy in Switzerland is located in Bern.
Indonesia is one of the most important destinations for Swiss direct investment in Asia. According to the Swiss National Bank (SNB), these have created more than 50,000 jobs in Indonesia. Currently, more than 150 Swiss companies are active there.
The volume of trade between the two countries has been constantly rising. In 2020, it was CHF 3.1 billion.
A Joint Economic and Trade Commission was established in 2009.
In 2018, Switzerland signed a wide-ranging economic partnership agreement (CEPA) together with the other EFTA countries and Indonesia. After acceptance by popular referendum, the agreement entered into force in November 2021.
The Swiss Business Hub and Switzerland Tourism are also represented in Indonesia.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is responsible for implementing Switzerland's International Strategy on Education, Research and Innovation.
Researchers who are citizens of Brunei are eligible to apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Peacebuilding and human security
Switzerland cooperates closely with Indonesia on human rights. The Swiss embassy in Jakarta holds annual human rights consultations with the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights. Swiss expertise and funding supports the Indonesian government's initiatives working to prevent torture and ensure that businesses respect human rights. Switzerland also supports civil society projects.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
An important basis of bilateral relations was the technical support provided by the SDC and the establishment of polytechnics over a period of 20 years (1976-1996, total volume of supported projects: CHF 277 million) an important basis for bilateral relations, which still contributes to Switzerland's good reputation in Indonesia today.
Since 2008, Indonesia has been one of the eight priority countries for economic development cooperation of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). As part of a 2021–24 cooperation programme, SECO is focusing on effective state institutions and the competitiveness of the private sector, in particular SMEs.
To cope with the consequences of the 2004 tsunami, Switzerland committed funds totalling CHF 12.5 million, which were used in corresponding SDC programmes. Since then, Switzerland has continued to provide Indonesia with support in the event of natural disasters, including earthquakes (in Lombok in 2018) and tsunamis (in Palu in 2018).
Since 2013, two regional risk reduction and disaster relief experts have been stationed in Bangkok to support DRR projects in South East Asia and the Pacific, and to be on-site in the event of natural disasters. These experts also support ASEAN in disaster risk management and responsiveness.
Swiss nationals in Indonesia
At the end of 2021, there were 1,028 Swiss nationals living in Indonesia.
History of bilateral relations
In 1952, Switzerland opened a representation in Jakarta. It recognised Indonesia in 1949, after Indonesia gained independence from the Netherlands in 1945. In 1863, a Swiss consulate was opened in Batavia (now Jakarta). A second was opened in Medan (North Sumatra) in 1916. As early as the 17th century, many Swiss citizens settled in Indonesia.
Since the 1990s, Indonesia – especially Bali – has become a popular holiday destination for Swiss tourists.
The expansion of the development cooperation programme in 1971 led to closer relations.
In 2021, Switzerland and Indonesia celebrated 70 years of diplomatic relations.